Traditional Toys May Beat Gadgets in Language Development

From the NY Times post:

Baby laptops, baby cellphones, talking farms — these are the whirring, whiz-bang toys of the moment, many of them marketed as tools to encourage babies’ language skills.

A new study raises questions about whether such electronic playthings make it less likely that babies will engage in the verbal give-and-take with their parents that is so crucial to cognitive development.

The study, published recently in JAMA Pediatrics, found that when babies and parents played with electronic toys that were specifically advertised as language-promoters, parents spoke less and responded less to baby babbling than when they played with traditional toys like blocks or read board books. Babies also vocalized less when playing with electronic toys.

Basic toys without sounds or lights, like blocks, may be best for a child's development.

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